Yes, that's right -- you can actually become addicted to things you're allergic to. It's a strange phenomenon, but it's pretty common and, when you get down to the science of it, it's easy to see that it works just like most other addictions.
When you have an allergic reaction to a food, the body releases a bunch of endorphins, lifting your mood and making you feel happier. The chemical high you get from these endorphins can be addictive in the same way drugs can be [source: Challem]. As a result, you end up seeking out those foods in order to replicate that euphoric feeling, a process that can end up becoming an addiction as you begin to subconsciously associate the foods you're allergic to with good feelings.
The most common foods to produce this allergy addiction effect include chocolate, soy, dairy products and wheat -- some of the "comfort foods" many of us flock to when we're feeling down.
To find out more about addictions and compulsions -- some admittedly stranger than others -- take a look at the links below.
More Great Links
- American Running and Fitness Association. "Kicking the Caffeine Habit." Running & FitNews. July - August 2008. (April 3, 2011)http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0NHF/is_4_26/ai_n29480190/
- Cannon, Carol. "Hooked on Unhappiness: Breaking the Cycle of Discontent." Pacific Press Publishing. 2008.
- Challem, Jack. "The Inflammation Syndrome: The Complete Nutritional Program to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Arthritis, Diabetes, Allergies, and Asthma." John Wiley and Sons. 2003.
- Gordon, Dan. "Shop Till You Stop." UCLA Magazine. Oct. 1, 2010. (April 3, 2011)http://www.magazine.ucla.edu/depts/lifesigns/shop/
- Hatfield, Heather. "Shopping Spree, or Addiction?" WebMD. 2004. (April 3, 2011). http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/shopping-spree-addiction
- Kamen, Gary. "Foundations of Exercise Science." Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2001.
- Kubey, Robert. "Television Dependence, Diagnosis, and Prevention: With Commentary on Video Games, Pornography, and Media Education." 1996. (April 4, 2011)http://www.mediastudies.rutgers.edu/depend.pdf
- Kubey, Robert and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. "Television Addiction is No Mere Metaphor." Scientific American. Feb. 23, 2002. (April 4, 2011)http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=television-addiction-is-n-2002-02
- Ling, Richard Seyler and Per E. Pedersen (Eds.). "Mobile Communications: Re-Negotiation of the Social Sphere." Birkhauser. 2005.
- Lowinson, Joyce H. et al. "Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook." Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2005.
- Padwa, Howard, and Jacob Cunningham (Eds.). "Addiction: A Reference Encyclopedia." ABC-CLIO. 2010.
- Ries, Richard K. et al. "Principles of Addiction Medicine." Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2009.
- Robinson, Bryan E. "Chained to the Desk: A Guidebook for Workaholics, Their Partners and Children, and the Clinicians Who Treat Them." NYU Press. 2001.
- Singleton, Tommie W., and Aaron J. Singleton. "Fraud Auditing and Forensic Accounting." John Wiley & Sons. 2010.
- Sussman, Steve. "Love Addiction: Definition, Etiology, Treatment." Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity. Jan. 1, 2010.
- Weinberg, Robert S., and Daniel Gould. "Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology." Human Kinetics Publishers. 2010.
- Young, Kimberly S., and Cristiano Nabuco de Abreu. "Internet Addiction: A Handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment." John Wiley & Sons. 2011.
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